CHANEY-MOONEY Cowboys post 52-44 victory in inter-conference contest
Chaney's Roy Austin had his string of double-doubles broken.
By GREG GULAS
YOUNGSTOWN -- It was a typical city clash.
Two teams from highly-respected area conferences, streaking in different directions, met head to head, but in the end it was the streak that was stopped that might be the most noteworthy of all.
The Chaney High boys basketball team built a 40-24 lead after three quarters, then withstood a 17-6 run by Cardinal Mooney in the final period to post a 52-44 victory Tuesday at the Chaney gymnasium.
Top scorers: Matt Lobaugh led three Cowboys in double figures with 16 points. Chris Childers and Keilen Dykes added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
While Roy Austin hauled in a game-high 10 rebounds for Chaney, a season-low six points stopped his double-double streak this year at 15.
"We shot well in the first half and got careless in the final 16 minutes with the ball," Chaney coach Jim Stickel said. "This was a total team effort for us tonight, both from the players that contributed on the court and the players that were dressed and on the bench.
"It has been a struggle for us this season to say the least," he added. "We lost some close games early and our players got dejected, but they have hung in there and the result is our improved play of late."
City Series member Chaney (7-9) won for the third time in the last four outings, while the Cardinals (7-9), member of the Steel Valley Conference, lost for the fourth time in six tries.
"We haven't shot above 44 percent in our last four games," Mooney coach Nick Bellino said. "We have talked about our offensive woes and they continued for us tonight.
Can't catch up: "Defensively, we're fine," he said. "We buried ourselves early and had a hard time playing catch-up."
The score was knotted at 4-4, but an Austin bucket in the lane at the 4:12 mark of the opening period gave the Cowboys the lead for good as they took a 15-8 lead after just eight minutes. Joe Burke scored six of Mooney's eight points in the period.
When Mooney failed to kick its offense up a notch in the second period, Lobaugh, Childers and Jason Bowlen scored five points each as the Cowboys outscored the Cardinals 15-9, taking a 30-17 lead at intermission.
"When you are struggling offensively, you need to execute better and make better decisions," Bellino said. "We had a lot of transition buckets in the second half and that is what helped us get back into the game."
The Cowboys outscored the Cardinals 10-7 in the third period to take a 40-24 advantage, but a 17-6 run by Mooney, which was ignited by Burke's eight points during that run, cut the Chaney margin to 46-41 with just 54 seconds remaining.
Final push: Lobaugh, however, scored the last six points for Chaney, offsetting a 3-point goal by the Cardinals' Curtis Ingram, to preserve its eight-point victory.
The Cowboys were 19-of-34 from the field, including four of eight from beyond the arc, while the Cardinals connected on just 28 percent of their shots (17-of-60) from the field, including 3-of-18 from 3-point range.
The Cardinals held a 38-34 advantage on the boards, as Ron Stoops tied Austin for game-high honors with 10.